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Lorelou: A Frog in the Fjord

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Norway makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Norway, etc.

My name is Lorelou, I am French and come from the city of Marseille. I moved to Oslo, Norway by coincidence: I got a job here but had not plan to stay. 5 years later here I am!

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

After 2–3 years in Norway I thought I could share the cultural shocks I was experiencing with other fellow immigrants in order to give them some tips, but also for me to talk to others who knew what it was.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

My own favorite blog entry is “How to pretend to be fluent in Norwegian” and the one which has been read the most is “How to Make things Koselig”.

Tell us about the ways your new life in Norway differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Before moving to Norway I had been living in Denmark, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and Canada. I had not been living in my home country for 6–7 years when I came to Norway, so my whole life was a big culture shock. Norway was just the last one.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Norway? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

I had no expectations, which is probably the best way not to be disappointed. I did not expect, though, that the darkness in the winter would be so tough to live through especially in the North of Norway.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

When I first move to my flat, the owner repeated several times that this house used to belong to Jahn Teigen. I had no idea who he was talking about, so when he told me not to forget to tell every Norwegian around that I lived in Jahn Teigen’s house I said “John Teagen” instead and no one got it. It turned out I was living in a Norwegian superstar’s rehearsing studio!

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Norway?

  • Don’t believe what people say: that life is expensive here. If you earn a local salary you will be fine. Except for alcohol, which you should bring your maximum quota of every time you enter the country.
  • Start learning Norwegian before you come. Start with a few sentences and show people you are interested in learning their language once you get here.
  • Drink one spoon of codliver oil every day from September to March to avoid getting sick and being depressed because of the lack of sun (it’s locally called TRAN).

How is the expat community in Norway? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

I don’t know many expats. I live in another country than my own in order to meet local people, discover a new language and a new culture.

How would you summarize your expat life in Norway in a single, catchy sentence?

I live a Norwegian life, but I see it with a French person’s eyes. I try to take the best out of both cultures: the peacefulness of Norwegians and the great food and wine of the French.

David Hicks

"Thanks to my network on InterNations, I already had some contact persons to ask for support on coming to Oslo. "

Amelie Barreau

"Enjoying the great spirit of our InterNations’ Oslo Community for the last few months, I am absolutely convinced of the vision to bring people from different nations together."

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